Joe Schmidt has said that his Italian counterpart Conor O’Shea can use his inside knowledge of Ireland’s tactical set-up to his advantage this weekend.
Both teams go into the RBS Six Nations encounter on the back of losses, with Ireland coming out the wrong side of the result in Murrayfield, while Wales eventually overpowered the Italians on their home turf last weekend.
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The Azzurri will look to make the most of their home advantage in Rome, but Schmidt believes that O’Shea has another trump card this weekend.
Ireland trained with Harlequins during the 2015 Rugby World Cup, where O’Shea, then the club’s Director of Rugby, saw Schmidt’s tactical set-up in close quarters.
“I would have had a lot of discussions with Conor about coaching,” he told RTÉ Sport.
“We trained with Harlequins in the World Cup which was great fun and great preparation.
“I think Conor got a good look at how we train and what we try to do. He potentially can use that to his advantage now.”
He also believes that the coaching ticket will add greatly to both their offensive and defensive strategies.
“Mike Catt is really astute and will give confidence and clarity to the backs will bring clarity to the backs and Brendan Venter has ramped up their offensive defence.
“They tend to come off the line and I think with Simone Favarro back in the side, that will be ramped up further.”
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Schmidt has laid down the gauntlet to Ireland to move out of any professional era comfort blanket and cope far better with unexpected setbacks.
Ireland's bus was 15 minutes late arriving at Murrayfield last Saturday, with Schmidt later admitting his players were unsettled by a rushed warm-up.
Now the former Leinster coach has demanded his players quickly devise far better coping strategies for similar unforeseen issues.
"I have challenged them for a better start in Italy," said Schmidt.
"I think it's incredibly disappointing the way we started last weekend.
"I don't think it was apathy, there was a bit of anxiety at not having had the full period to warm up."
Watch Ireland v Italy live on RTÉ2 from 1.30pm Saturday, listen live on Radio 1's Saturday Sport and follow our live blog on RTE.ie/the News Now app